Obama gives Congress a Christmas pay raise

If you found all the entitled grumbling from Senators and Representatives about missing “family events” to stay in Washington and clean up their own mess as infuriating and pathetic as I did, you may want to look away – this story will make you mad.

From Nick Wing at the Huffington Post:

President Barack Obama gave a New Year’s gift to returning members of Congress, federal workers and Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, signing an executive ordercalling for an end to a years-long pay freeze.

As of March 27, 2013, federal employees will see a half-percent to one percent pay increase, marking the end of a pay freeze that has been in place since late 2010. Congress hasn’t seen a pay raise since 2009.

According to the order, Biden’s pay will increase from $225,521 to $231,900 a year, before taxes. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) will see his salary increased to $224,500 and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will take home an annual pay of $194,400 after his raise. [The average congressman will take home $2,000 more than he did last year].

Now I’m sure there are lots of federal workers on the bottom of the totem pole who merit a pay raise. But does Congress?

While Obama’s order made no mention of merit for such a raise, HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel reported on Friday that the 112th Congress is set to end the session as the most unproductive since the 1940s, with only 219 bills passed by the body becoming law.

After four years of frozen salary, it’s reasonable for the President to let lower-level pay rise a little to reflect inflation. But if you were a CEO running a company that had achieved almost nothing in the last few months, would you give management an end-of-the year bonus?

Congress was furious when the big banks and auto companies did that (see 0:32-1:10 in the video for some especially rich monologue). It remains to be seen if President Obama will get the same treatment.

Hint: Don’t hold your breath.

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Posted in Fiscal Policy, President Obama
11 comments on “Obama gives Congress a Christmas pay raise
  1. Peter R says:

    They need to start putting government officials, bankers in jail like the did in Iceland. They act like the untouchables and live above the law.

    • That sounds a little cold (get it – Iceland, cold… okay sorry)! Look I’m not sure if anyone belongs in jail unless they broke the law, but some people certainly don’t belong in Congress. Those are the people we are responsible for punishing – we being bloggers and the media and whistle-blowers and such, but ultimately the voters.

  2. I did find mildly amusing that as President Obama lambasted Congress for their many inadequacies he was giving them a raise.

  3. […] himself from any blame.  In addition, I found it laughable that he also gave these same people RAISES while explaining to the American people how they can’t even do the bare minimum of their job […]

  4. Glenna says:

    Seriously? Not only did we not get pay raises at our school for the past seven years, we had to take a pay cut to make the budget…..

    • People everywhere are having to cut back. It’s noble to sacrifice short-term earnings to ensure the health of something as vital to a community as a school, especially when you have to do even more with the decreased funding. President Obama thinks congress has met those criteria, I guess, because he’s authorized a pay increase. Here’s yet another place the we and the President fundamentally disagree.

  5. Glenna says:

    I want my tax money going to this do nothing congress refunded. I just heard that this congress has been given a grade of an “F,” and is the worst one, as far as getting anything of substance done…….Where is the accountabllity?………and they got a pay increase?

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